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Written on 16th December 2021 by

Cornwall Accessible Activities Programme (“CAAP”) is a charity set up and run by a group of parents of children with additional needs. CAAP’s mission statement is to “endeavour to commission activities that are accessible, organise funding and supply equipment to ensure every child has access to as many activities as possible during the school holidays.”

CAAP currently has over 800 members around Cornwall, one of whom is our client, 14-year-old Ellie. Ellie has considerable additional needs, due to cerebral palsy resulting from a brain injury at birth, and has attended a wide variety of activities and events arranged by CAAP, often accompanied by her 10-year-old sister. Ellie’s mum talked to us about why the charity is so important to their family:

“They arrange different activities in the school holidays at discounted prices and do activities like canoeing, archery, power boating, theme park days out etc. We would be totally lost without them. They do activities for both the disabled child and siblings and others that are just for siblings, so they can have a break from caring and go and enjoy themselves. They are an amazing group and provide so many children with fab fun days out.”

CAAP activities are available to children and young people aged up to 25 years who either attend a special school or have support from an EHCP to attend a mainstream school. Children who do not meet these criteria but nevertheless cannot attend mainstream activities can also be referred to CAAP by a professional involved in their care.

The aim of CAAP is to support families and young people who are unable to access mainstream activities in their local community, due to safety issues, lack of equipment, or the prohibitive cost of providing one to one support. CAAP activities get children away from technology, into the outdoors and having fun, while also learning new skills, socialising with their peers and developing their self-esteem.

Typical half term activities include activities as diverse and exciting as Bollywood Dance, Splat Painting, Axe Throwing and Alpaca Trecking. In addition to the activities arranged directly by CAAP, membership of the charity also entitles the member to reduced entry fees at many attractions around Cornwall.

Sandy Lawrence, one of the founders and Director of CAAP, told us:

“Funding this year is very tight. We usually attract grants and fundraising of over £100k but in 2020 we raised just £30k but kept all staff going to keep morale raised amongst our children. Over Christmas we are doing wreath making, going to an outdoor theatre, having a song and dance workshop and going to a drive in cinema to see Elf. After Christmas nearly 400 of us will be going to our newly refurbished cinema to see Cinderella. It is an absolute honour to be a small part of these children and young people’s lives and creating just one smile makes it all worthwhile.”

If you are interested in learning more about the work of CAAP check out their website at https://www.caapuk.co.uk/, where you can learn how to become a member, make a donation to support their work, or nominate them as your recommended charity via Amazon Smile.

If you have any queries or questions about how to support someone to make their own decisions then please contact our Court of Protection team by email at cop@boyesturner.com.